When Mr. Emanuel got Ms. Staudinger’s phone number, the onslaught began. “As Ari does, he’ll just call and call and call,” she said, referring to Mr. Emanuel’s reputation for tenacity. He is said to make hundreds of phone calls daily to and for his clients.
After three months of ignoring him, Ms. Staudinger said, she accidentally texted Mr. Emanuel one day, intending the message for someone named Arianna. This time, she agreed to meet up. They had “an amazing conversation,” but Ms. Staudinger believed they were still better as friends. “I was so involved in work and, like, dating stupid rockers,” she said. At the time, Staud was building toward $20 million in revenue for 2018, according to Forbes.
They began regularly texting each other articles. (Ms. Staudinger is a voracious content consumer. In the same conversation, she’ll recommend a documentary on music in 1971, a book on Los Angeles in 1974 and a TikTok she saw about brain vibrations.) Mr. Emanuel would then send “crazy gifts” related to those articles, like a walking treadmill desk, she said.
Their first real date was in St.-Tropez, where Ms. Staudinger was visiting her father; Mr. Emanuel flew there to take her out. They had dinner at the restaurant Senequier — a night that began, she said, with them leaving another restaurant because Mr. Emanuel had “yelled at French people for smoking” and ended early the next morning with a “walk of shame back home through the fish market.” After all that resistance, “I fell in love with him right away,” she said.
Five years later, the first night of their three-day St.-Tropez wedding was held at Senequier. The ceremony was later officiated by Larry David. The wedding was, naturally, a paparazzi target. Leaked guest names included Brad Pitt, who didn’t end up attending, disappointing the single women who’d wanted Ms. Staudinger to seat them nearby, and Elon Musk, who spent much of the wedding in conversation with Mr. David, or with Ms. Staudinger’s 11-year-old half brother.
Mr. Musk’s presence at the couple’s summer vacation in Greece, a few months after the wedding, also attracted paparazzi. Initially, some tabloids mistook Ms. Staudinger as Mr. Musk’s new “mystery woman.”